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Functional brain imaging of a complex navigation task following one night of total sleep deprivationStudy Objectives: To assess the cerebral effects associated with sleep deprivation in a simulation of a complex, real-world, high-risk task. Design and Interventions: A two-week, repeated measures, cross-over experimental protocol, with counterbalanced orders of normal sleep (NS) and total sleep deprivation (TSD). Setting: Each subject underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing a dual-joystick, 3D sensorimotor navigation task (simulated orbital docking). Scanning was performed twice per subject, once following a night of normal sleep (NS), and once following a single night of total sleep deprivation (TSD). Five runs (eight 24s docking trials each) were performed during each scanning session. Participants: Six healthy, young, right-handed volunteers (2 women; mean age 20) participated. Measurements and Results: Behavioral performance on multiple measures was comparable in the two sleep conditions. Neuroimaging results within sleep conditions revealed similar locations of peak activity for NS and TSD, including left sensorimotor cortex, left precuneus (BA 7), and right visual areas (BA 18/19). However, cerebral activation following TSD was substantially larger and exhibited higher amplitude modulations from baseline. When directly comparing NS and TSD, most regions exhibited TSD>NS activity, including multiple prefrontal cortical areas (BA 8/9,44/45,47), lateral parieto-occipital areas (BA 19/39, 40), superior temporal cortex (BA 22), and bilateral thalamus and amygdala. Only left parietal cortex (BA 7) demonstrated NS>TSD activity. Conclusions: The large network of cerebral differences between the two conditions, even with comparable behavioral performance, suggests the possibility of detecting TSD-induced stress via functional brain imaging techniques on complex tasks before stress-induced failures.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Strangman, Gary (Harvard Medical School Charleston, MA, United States)
Thompson, John H. (Harvard Medical School Charleston, MA, United States)
Strauss, Monica M. (Harvard Medical School Charleston, MA, United States)
Marshburn, Thomas H. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Sutton, Jeffrey P. (National Space Biomedical Research Inst. Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2006
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
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